22 April 2011

This week OECD criticised the commitment most of the 38 states-members make to the Anti Bribery Convention. OECD works with the World Bank, UNDOC and civil society to coordinate worldwide anti bribery measures. However the annual report on the convention notes that countries are failing to meet their international commitments.  “It is time most countries got serious” and did more to tackle bribery in international business.

New Zealand is grouped among the majority which have not initiated any enforcement action during the year.  New Zealand’s response to the convention will undergo its Phase 3 review in 2013 when assessors from other states-members will examine measures taken since the  last examination in 2008.

Combating bribery requires leadership, resources and a continuing focus on ethical standards, just as much as these elements are required to strengthen public trust and confidence in government.

In late 2010 OECD published Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance.  Although aimed at detecting and preventing foreign bribery, the 12 points in the Guidance have direct relevance to the promotion of integrity across government. The guidance focuses specifically on the need for policies and a compliance programme addressing gifts, hospitality, entertainment, travel expenses, political and charitable contributions, facilitation payments and solicitation. The guidance is appended to the report.